Hope that is not afraid.

It was not too long ago that we were all making our New Years resolution. Who would have thought life would change so much in the last 3 months. This tiny microscopic virus called SARS-CoV-2 has caused havoc in the Nations. Social distancing, National lockdowns, and many changing scenarios each day is an indicator of how bad the situation is. Apart from death threats COVID 19 (sickness caused by this virus) brings upon us there are other challenges we have to wrestle with. One big one is in the area of markets falling and millions losing their jobs. About 10 million people in the United States have already applied for Unemployment benefits. IATA research calculates that 25 million jobs in aviation and related sectors are endangered across the world. In the same report, there will be a drop in revenues by $252 billion in the Airlines industry around the globe in 2020 alone.

It is one thing to hear bad things happen to people and totally another thing to experience it. You may be gripped with fear and anxiety – not just about your health but all other difficult questions.

What if I have a salary cut? What if I lose my job? Will my business come out of this mess? How will I pay my loans? Will I be able to bounce back? What about millions of poor and needy ones?

Anxiety might be the first thing that hits you in the morning and last thing that is on your mind as you struggle to sleep late into the night. These are undoubtedly uncertain times.

Is your hope afraid today?

The best thing to do when you find yourself doubting your own success, wealth, position & knowledge is to turn to God who designed you and made you for a significant purpose. It is important for us to understand that life without God is hollow & not worth living. A hollow life is what Henry Thoreau described as “lives of quiet desperation”; for others, the emptiness and aimlessness deepen into stronger despair as pointed to us by Os Guinness.

Fear & anxiety is reasonable at times like this. If you are experiencing it, you are not alone. Ed Welch says this well, ‘The issue isn’t so much whether or not we are afraid and worried. Scripture assumes that we will be afraid and anxious at times. What is important is where we turn, or to whom we turn when we are afraid,’

Consider the following statements made by Jesus:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Who is this Jesus who asks us to come to him?

John was an eyewitness at Jesus’ crucifixion, and he wrote an account of Jesus’ life, which is known as John’s Gospel. Ancient fragments of that Gospel can be seen in Manchester’s John Rylands Library. John wrote down many of the things Jesus said including these words:

‘God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life’ (The Gospel of John chapter 3 verse 16).

John, the Gospel writer, knew that Jesus’ death makes it possible for each of us to experience the love of God and to have eternal life. He also recorded Jesus saying:

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends’ (John’s Gospel chapter 15 verses 12-13).

It is Jesus’ own sacrificial love that banished the fear of death and motivated third century Christians to care for plague victims. As well as knowing they are loved by God, Christians also know that death is not the end. They can be confident of this because Jesus’ death on the cross was followed by his resurrection. He came back from the dead!

John’s eyewitness account explains how Jesus died on a Friday and was buried in a tomb with a huge stone rolled over the entrance. On Sunday, a group of women went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed. The tomb was empty. Jesus then appeared to his followers, proving that he was alive. The wounds from his crucifixion could be touched. He could eat. He was not a ghost. A short time after his resurrection, Jesus returned to his Father in heaven, but before he went he promised his followers that he would always be with them and that he would prepare a heavenly home for them. Jesus told his followers:

Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me… if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am’ (John’s Gospel chapter 14 verses 1-2).

Hope for the future.

During his life on earth Jesus often gave his followers hope for the future as he talked about the kingdom of heaven. He often used stories or parables to describe what life beyond the grave is like and who goes there. He described himself as ‘the way, the truth and the life’ (John’s Gospel chapter 14 verse 6) indicating that knowing Jesus and following him is the way to heaven.One man who met Jesus face to face wanted to believe and said, ‘I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!’ (Mark’s Gospel chapter 9 verse 24).

You might want to make that a prayer today.

If yes, all you need to do is to acknowledge your deepest need to him in a simple non-religious prayer. It can be as simple as given below:

“Dear Jesus, I’m at a loss for words today. I feel so lost inside and filled with hopelessness. I’ve been living my own life without having you as my leader. Today, please come into my heart and help me out. Cleanse me from my sin, confusion and despair. Help me to see your light in this dark valley that scares me. I put my trust in you. Help me to know more about you. Amen.”

By praying the above you have responded to Jesus’s invitation. He will continue to guide you through His Words (the Bible). If you are unable to find a Bible let me know and I will send it to you. Find a group of other followers of Jesus Christ and learn more about what it means to walk in the footsteps of Jesus.

The hope Jesus gives us is not afraid of the future!

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